Space Boffins

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Space Boffins'The Naked Scientists'? Based at Cambridge University, the Naked Scientists are a team of scientists, doctors and communicators whose passion is to help the general public to understand and engage with the worlds of science, technology and medicine.

Created and launched in 2001 by Chris Smith, the Naked Scientists was one of the first podcasts to exist and is now one of the world's most popular science shows, achieving over 50 million programme 'listens' in the last 5 years.


Space Boffins Show Archive:

Don't call me Fruit Loops!

Monday 12th November 2018

The Space Boffins podcast is in New York with NASA astronaut, engineer and Big Bang Theory star Mike Massimino. Recorded on the Hudson River from the flight deck of the USS Intrepid - where Massimino works once a week - Space Boffins Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson are also joined by the Sea, Air Space Museum's curator of aviation, Eric Boehm. Add a report on archiving space missions with NASA TV audio engineer Greg Wiseman and you have a NASAtastic edition and yes, we do discuss fruit loops

Space Boffins Live - ESA Special

Wednesday 10th October 2018

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli joins Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham for a podcast special recorded at the European Space Agency's ESTEC facility in The Netherlands during their Open Day. Thousands of people travel from across Europe and beyond to see where the European Space Agency tests its spacecraft before launch and the birthplace of many of its science missions. Joining the ever entertaining Nespoli on the Space Rocks stage is space debris expert Luisa Innocenti, head of ESA's Clean Space Office, on better alternatives for spacecraft materials plus trainee aerospace engineer Marta de Oliveira, who is working on a proposed future mission to Venus called EnVision.

Spy Satellite Special

Tuesday 11th September 2018

In a special edition of Space Boffins, Richard Hollingham meets a man rarer than a Moonwalker - a spy satellite engineer. Phil Pressel led the team that built the camera for the Hexagon spy satellite system - the most complicated satellite ever launched. Hexagon took pictures on 30 miles of film and returned it to Earth in cannisters, which were captured by aircraft. The interview includes revelations about the capabilities of the satellite, secrecy and Phil's incredible upbringing. Did spy satellites help prevent World War 3? You decide

Space Boffins Blast Off!

Friday 10th August 2018

It's a rocket special on this month's Space Boffins with Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham. As the UK's plans for a Spaceport forge ahead, two microlauncher companies are at the forefront of a commercial space race for launching small satellites from the UK. Sue hears from Orbex's Chris Larmour and Skyrora's Daniel Smith to find out what they have planned. Richard reports from the European spaceport Vega C launch pad in French Guiana with engineer Marco Calcabrini and inside the Ariane 5 and Vega control room with Jean-Marc Durand from Arianespace. Astronomer and science writer Stuart Clark joins the Space Boffins to discuss rockets, UK space and Aeolus, the world's first wind monitoring satellite, and agrees to play their 1969 board game Blast Off - something they all come to regret.

Rockets in the Jungle

Tuesday 10th July 2018

It's the 7th anniversary of Space Boffins and Sue and Richard are joined by BBC Science Correspondent, Jonathan Amos - a guest on the very first podcast. Meanwhile, Richard reports from the new Ariane 6 launchpad being built at the European spaceport in French Guiana, and we meet the European Space Agency astronaut training with the Chinese. The team also get to the bottom of some mysterious Skylab space banter.

Magnificent Mercury: BepiColombo

Sunday 10th June 2018

Magnificent Mercury is in full focus. Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham are at the National Space Centre in Leicester with BepiColombo mission scientists Professor Emma Bunce and Dr Suzie Imber. They also visit London's Science Museum to see the newly installed thermal spacecraft model for Europe's first mission to Mercury in October. Expect to hear from ESA's chief scientific advisor, Mark McCaughrean, the low down on a Soviet space toilet in Leicester, and hear why NASA astronaut Chris Hadfield is complete space shambles - in a good way of course...

Sampling an Asteroid

Friday 11th May 2018

Asteroid expert Professor Simon Green joins the Space Boffins to discuss missions to collect samples from space rocks and return them to Earth, and the perils of re-directing asteroids heading our way. Richard and Sue also chat to Romanian astronaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu about life on the first international space station, Salyut 6, and Europe's ambitious Mercury mission gets packed-up ready for launch.

Water on Mars

Tuesday 10th April 2018

After 2000 days on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover is still going strong. In this month's Space Boffins Richard visits Imperial College London to talk to one of the lead scientists on the mission, Sanjeev Gupta, about water on Mars, life and future astronaut missions. Meanwhile, in Liverpool, Sue discovers the connection between the Beatles and space science, author Vix Southgate chats to Richard about Soviet space dogs and the words of Yuri Gagarin from orbit.

Killer Asteroids

Monday 12th March 2018

Could life on Earth be wiped out by a killer asteroid? The short answer is yes. This month the Space Boffins hear about a new European telescope to spot the threat before it's too late. Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson are joined at the Royal Astronomical Society in London by Robert Massey and Helen Klus to discuss how astronomy could save the world. Richard also chats to NASA astronaut Steve Bowen who reveals what it will be like to live in the 'cramped' new Orion spacecraft and the perils of returning to Earth after a mission to the Moon or Mars.

Space, Boffins&Rock Stars

Friday 9th February 2018

Queen guitarist, rock star and astronomer Brian May adds some celebrity stardust and big hair on this month's podcast for the launch of the 2019 Starmus Festival. May talks about the essential humanity of a science, arts and music overlap and reveals that he's been quietly contributing to not one, but two space missions. Also on the podcast, Britain's first astronaut Helen Sharman discusses the future of orbiting space stations and Chris Welch bigs up the International Space University and explains why he has a Project Juno poster. Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham are presenting the podcast from the British Interplanetary Society alongside Spaceflight magazine editor and former NASA engineer David Baker for an informed romp through space history to answer a listener's letter.